A death in the family this week brought me back to Peterborough; a small town about 300km north of the South Australian capital, Adelaide.
Once leaving the Northern Expressway and the Sturt Highway, the last of the Gawler sprawl recedes into an open, expansive landscape of subtle, yet contrasting geographic variations as you pass through each of the small towns along the way. Approaching the former copper mining township of Burra, rolling hills progressively become sharper and the main road dips and rises, then winds slowly into valleys. Dozens of wind turbines sit atop the steep hills around Mount Bryan, and approaching the historic town of Terowie, dry yellow paddocks rapidly transition into a foreboding arid landscape of red earth with a scattering of low lying vegetation (mostly salt bush). The recent days of rain have brought the colours of the earth out, and flecks of green have appeared at the edges of the road. Welcome to the Goyder Line and the South Australian desert frontier.